Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Moment with former Boston Handmade member Linda Branch Dunn

by Nancy of nancyrosetta

The first Boston Handmade show I participated in after my mother's stroke was the South End Open Market Boston Handmade show on June 14, 2009. I was horribly unprepared for this show because I had been spending all of my time on vigil at Brigham and Women's Hospital since May 18th. I spent every day, morning until night with my mother and my sisters for that month, only able to produce crocheted/beaded jewelry as I sat in the hospital. Not exactly the inventory I wanted to produce for this show. My mind was barely into it but I felt that I needed to fulfill my commitment, and I didn't want to disappoint. It had been almost an entire month since my mothers stroke, and I really needed a break from my daily grind at the Hospital.

At this time, I had been a member of the group for about 15 months. I felt comfortable with the group, comfortable with my place within the group, and had already made many wonderful connections. Linda was actually one of our members who I knew little of, other than ogling her beautiful scarves and coveting a pocketbook or two of hers. We had been placed as neighbors for the day and I was so happy to be able to get to know her better.

The inside pain I felt during those days in my mother's recovery (or lack thereof) was an immense weight, and I had a lot of guilt for going through with the show while things were still so uncertain within my family's 'heartbeat'. SoWa that day started out with torrential downpours. The second I got my tent 'pitched' the rain started and was relentless all morning. Those of us who had walls for our tents hastily put them up to protect our products which made us invisible to each other. It was a solitary, soggy, windy set up with every tent shielded by the white or blue sidewalls that we ordinarily don't use. It was a scramble to stay dry.

I set up (with white walls attached) virtually cut off from the world, with a river running through my tent, fearing the day wouldn't get any better but plugging on and hoping for the best. I kept on wondering if it was all going to be worth it.

As the morning wind and rain started to subside, the tent walls slowly started coming down. The 'feel' of the market turned a bit more normal (although still very soggy) and then the sun came out. The outlook for the day was getting better, and just as I was removing the wall of fabric that shielded my booth from the rain and separated my booth from Linda's, I noticed a fabric collage. A collage that only faced me. A piece of artwork faced away from the crowd of shoppers, in the back corner of her booth where only I could admire it...directly in my line of vision...A message...

Within this beautiful fabric art was a quote perfectly stitched in, that I read over and over throughout the day. It gave me comfort as it stared at me and only me. A quote from Emily Dickinson.

"To live is so startling, it leaves little time for anything else." ~Emily Dickinson

I had never heard or read that quote before Linda introduced it to me in such a thoughtful and compassionate way. It has become a quote, that to me, defines my mother's existence now... more than anyone can imagine.

I am sure that I am not the only one who has been touched by Linda's thoughtfulness. I miss her in our group, and I think of her often.
Linda's website
Linda's shop
Linda's blog


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